Study reveals IT decision makers plan to incorporate mainframes into cloud strategies.
Tomorrow's cloud strategy could read a bit like a bride's must-have list: something old, something new and perhaps even something from Big Blue. Recent survey data reveals plans among a majority of global IT decision makers to strategically couple cloud computing initiatives with existing mainframe platforms to create private and hybrid cloud environments.
The findings come as part of a larger study from CA Technologies, dubbed "The Mainframe as a Mainstay of the Enterprise 2012," which found more than 80% of IT decision makers worldwide believe the mainframe to be a "highly strategic part of their IT plans." The CA Technologies commissioned study, conducted by Decipher Research, surveyed some 623 IT professionals in 11 countries. And the results overwhelmingly show that despite some exaggerated reports in the press about the mainframe being "dead," a majority of IT leaders realize the value the platform offers and the potential benefits to building future technology strategy on a foundation as solid as the mainframe.
"We're seeing a market in transition. Companies around the world are assessing how they can rapidly adapt to new cloud models and enable the delivery of new business services to meet the ever-increasing demands on IT," said Mark Combs, distinguished senior vice president, Mainframe, CA Technologies, in a press release. "The mainframe continues to be a strategic platform that delivers the flexibility, scalability and security needed to meet these new service demands and business priorities."
For instance, the mainframe study found specifically that 58% of global and 51% of U.S. respondents indicate mainframe is critical to cloud strategy or it will be in the near future. Another 63% of global and 65% of U.S. respondents said they are planning to deploy new tools that enable "rapid and cost-efficient provisioning of private/hybrid cloud services on the mainframe" in the next 12 to 36 months.
The reasoning behind such decisions shouldn't shock those familiar with the mainframe. As a platform, the mainframe offers several benefits ranging from high throughput to scalability, security and near continuous availability. In fact, survey respondents indicated that the primary reasons the mainframe is being considered as a potential partner to cloud plans are "flexibility in the delivery of new services, scalability and security." The mainframe offers both resiliency and flexibility and now more often than not mainframes are integrated into complex, heterogeneous environments and not isolated to back-office functions.
Industry watchers are also aware of the trend toward optimizing the mainframe for use with emerging technology implementations and creating hybrid platforms that capitalize on the best the mainframe, distributed and now cloud environments offer.
"Companies running mainframes are largely now committed to the platform," said James Governor, founder and analyst at UK-based Redmonk, in the CA Technologies study. "We're now seeing a modernization wave, where the customer modernizes its existing mainframe, rather than seeking to modernize by migrating to an alternative."
Would you consider coupling your cloud computing plans with an existing mainframe environment? What would prevent you from exploring this option? Why does it make sense to you? Please leave a comment here, let me know your thoughts on Twitter @DDubie or e-mail me your take directly at Denise.Dubie@ca.com.